For the first time since Prohibition began in 1920, whiskey is being distilled again in Chattanooga.
Chattanooga Whiskey, which led a public campaign in 2013 to overturn Hamilton County's previous ban on distilleries, opened the Tennessee Stillhouse across from the Chattanooga Choo Choo in March. Within the 3,000-square-foot storefront and basement, a new 100-gallon copper still is up and running, making future batches of whiskey that will be ready for sampling soon and for sale by summer.
The location is the third by Chattanooga Whiskey after other southside and downtown sites proved too expensive or too inadequate for the distillery and its public tours. Chattanooga Whiskey has so far relied upon aging whiskey made in Indiana. But the new distillery will make whiskey in Chattanooga and helped the company be true to its name in Chattanooga.
Just inside the front door of the new Stillhouse is the reception area and retail section with shelves lined with Chattanooga Whiskey hats, shirts and many fifths of Chattanooga Whiskey.
"We're not a restaurant, and we're not a bar," said Tim Piersant, Tennessee Stillhouse owner, CEO and co-founder. "People are going to come here before they eat, and they're going to come here after they eat."